Woodburn, Oregon Bank Bombing Update and Something Doesn’t Smell Right

I first mentioned the Oregon bank bombing on the 13th of December 2008 in a post I titled Harbinger?  I then updated on that initial post here, and followed up on that with a post I titled Just A Whim I Guess, where I pondered on an alleged motive for the bombing.

Googling up, via Google News, the words “Oregon bank bombing,” one finds that the last news article published on this incident, at least according to Google, was published on December 27, 2008.  But, I did find one news article via Google News, published at StatesmanJournal.com, with a headline of Motive in Woodburn bank bombing may have been robbery, indictment shows.

When I read that robbery was the alleged motive for this bombing, I thought to myself, how can this be?  Though the definition of robbery is noted as,

Many states define robbery as theft/larceny of property or money through the offender’s use of physical force or fear against a victim. Where a deadly weapon such as a gun is used or the victim suffers injury, the robbery may be charged as “armed” or “aggravated.” Unlike burglary, the crime of robbery almost always requires the presence of a victim who suffers actual injury, or is threatened with harm.

For example, Dan approaches Victor from behind, demanding Victor’s wallet while pressing a hard object into his back. Fearing that Dan has a gun, Victor gives up his wallet. If Dan did use a gun, or if Victor suffered an injury, the charge would likely be elevated to “armed” or “aggravated” robbery.

neither Bruce Turnidge or his son Joshua, the alleged bombers, was anywhere around when the bomb detonated.  How would the Turnidges have been able to rob the bank if they were not there?  Think about it.  Allegedly phone calls were made warning of a bomb outside the bank, which of course would bring the authorities running, which it did.  How do you rob a bank when the cops are swarming around outside, and clearing the area and bank allegedly to be robbed, because of the threat of a bomb?  Did the Turnidges have some type of invisibility cloak which would have allowed them to glide past the cops unseen and then enter the bank while the cops stood around, shooing the nosy away with the words “Move along, citizen, there is nothing to see here?”

Something doesn’t smell right about this, but I can’t tell you what the smell is.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/22 at 11:05 AM
  1. No idea if it’s the case here, but there have been instances (I’ve seen ‘em on TV!) where robbers have called in a bomb threat at Bank A and then, when the cops all swarm there, taken advantage of the distraction to knock over Bank B on the other side of town.

    Maybe that’s it?

    Posted by Andrew  on  01/22  at  07:39 PM
  2. Andrew, your suggestion is not without merit, and initial news stories on this did state that a number of bomb threats, two if I am not mistaken, had been phoned in, but, I believe the banks were next door to each other or in close proximity.  If that is the case, then your suggestion would not have as much merit as if the banks were actually on opposite sides of town.

    I just don’t have enough information, nor do I think the authorities do, if they are stating the motive is robbery.

    Posted by John Venlet  on  01/22  at  08:00 PM
  3. John:  It can be confusing when different states have different definitions using the same name for a crime.  Assault, for example, can be merely words in some states, whereas in Oregon you require physical injury to prove assault.  I guess the founding fathers stuck to that old “Sticks and stones may break my bones…” logic.

    Anyways, having been in law enforcement for 25 years in Oregon, Robbery in the 1st degree is certainly the appropriate crime under our laws.  Other states may charge it differently. 

    Attached are the laws of the State of Oregon.

    164.395 Robbery in the third degree.

    (1) A person commits the crime of robbery in the third degree if in the course of committing or attempting to commit theft or unauthorized use of a vehicle as defined in ORS 164.135 the person uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person with the intent of:
        (a) Preventing or overcoming resistance to the taking of the property or to retention thereof immediately after the taking; or
        (b) Compelling the owner of such property or another person to deliver the property or to engage in other conduct which might aid in the commission of the theft or unauthorized use of a vehicle.
        (2) Robbery in the third degree is a Class C felony. [1971 c.743 §148; 2003 c.357 §1]

        164.405 Robbery in the second degree. (1) A person commits the crime of robbery in the second degree if the person violates ORS 164.395 and the person:
        (a) Represents by word or conduct that the person is armed with what purports to be a dangerous or deadly weapon; or
        (b) Is aided by another person actually present.
        (2) Robbery in the second degree is a Class B felony. [1971 c.743 §149]

        164.410 [Repealed by 1971 c.743 §432]

        164.415 Robbery in the first degree. (1) A person commits the crime of robbery in the first degree if the person violates ORS 164.395 and the person:
        (a) Is armed with a deadly weapon;
        (b) Uses or attempts to use a dangerous weapon; or
        (c) Causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to any person.

        (2) Robbery in the first degree is a Class A felony. [1971 c.743 §150; 2007 c.71 §51]

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/03  at  05:25 PM

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